Having the ability to make a DVD or Blu-ray Disc when you finish a project is a great asset to your production workflow. With Adobe Encore CS6 software, you can create standard-definition DVDs, high-def Blu-ray Discs or Web DVDs all from a single interface. You can even archive a copy of your project to Blu-ray Disc for future editing. In the past, I would archive to hard drives, but after several of them failed (while taking my projects with them) I now use Blu-ray Discs. And with the 8.54GB dual-layer DVDs and 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray Discs, I have quite a bit of room to store a project.
If you’re looking for a “film” look, Encore CS6 can maintain that aesthetic all the way to output with native support for 24p frame rates for Blu-ray, DVD and Web DVD titles, with the correct display of 24p timecode in the timeline. I’ve always enjoyed using Encore, and Adobe has sped up Encore CS6 in many ways. It increased the speed of my Blu-ray Disc and DVD authoring workflow with its native 64-bit performance and stability; opened and saved projects faster; and worked better on demanding projects. And if you want to make a quick slide show, Encore CS6 works great. Gone is the old 99-slide restriction for Blu-ray slide shows. CS6 now supports Blu-ray chapter playlists, 8-bit color highlight buttons and menu color enhancements, which can now be viewed in the correct pixel aspect ratio when previewing DVD simulations.
If you use Adobe Premiere Pro as your editor with Encore CS6, you can avoid having to render out a transcoded file by using the Dynamic Link function. Just send your Premiere Pro sequences directly to Encore without rendering first. Changes in the timeline are reflected immediately in Encore, thanks to Adobe Dynamic Link. This even works with full native 4K and 5K formats, which is a huge timesaver. In fact, there’s timesaving Adobe integration in many of the CS6 suite programs. You can effortlessly move assets between Encore and Premiere Pro, After Effects and Adobe Photoshop Extended software while the Adobe Media Encoder works efficiently in the background to render your files. You can edit menus in Photoshop and see the changes appear instantly in your Encore project. Or, you can send a menu directly to After Effects CS6 for animation, export your animation as a movie file, and add it to your menu background to create a nice motion menu. How is that for fast?
When you’re busy in Encore CS6, you can multitask by offloading transcoding jobs to Adobe Media Encoder, freeing Encore for other tasks. This is particularly important with 4K and 5K workflows that normally slow down your system. An easy chapter point addition has been added so that you can use a single command to add chapter points at fixed intervals, enabling viewers to skip quickly through a DVD’s content. And now Encore CS6 has automated chapter menus that let you create multipage menus automatically from chapters or slide shows in your project. Just set the exact location for your motion menu to loop back. You can verify your project at any time during production.
Encore CS6 checks your navigation for broken links, verifies bit rates, checks subtitles for problems, and presents the results in a sorted list. CS6 also plays well with others, allowing you to share your Encore projects without worrying about platform compatibility. Encore projects can be moved between Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac platforms freely and without conversion. Encore CS6 comes with some very powerful and handy tools, like the capability to preview a project on the screen of your choice before burning. You can check the shape and alignment of items by identifying and viewing square and non-square pixels. And since formatting and cropping look different on a computer monitor than on a TV screen, you can now preview on both. No more having to create a DVD or Blu-ray Disc just to check your menu designs for video compatibility.
To speed up replication, you can create replicated discs from Encore using direct DDP master support for DVD discs. These output files can then be sent via FTP directly to the mastering facility. You can add up to 99 separate timelines, each with up to 99 chapter points, 8 audio streams and 32 subtitle streams. For subtitles, simply import line 21 files to add closed captions to your DVDs (NTSC titles only). For international distribution, just set the language codes for audio and subtitle streams so that viewers can select by name rather than by number, then use region coding to control the geographical regions where replicated DVDs and Blu-ray Discs can be played. If you wish, you can even include extra files in the DVD-ROM zone for extra value when your DVD discs are read on a computer. You can easily edit subtitle tracks by exporting them as text, then use tools optimized for text editing to save time and increase productivity. These exported subtitles can then be re-imported into Encore. And thanks to subtitle export/import support, you can also type and format subtitles directly over video, or import and format a script containing multiple subtitles.
Even input-file support is more flexible with Encore CS6. You can import timeline markers from AVI, H.264 and MPEG-2 files exported from Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 or After Effects CS6 software. (By using Edit Original, you can modify your original project in Premiere Pro CS6 then import the changes back into your Encore project.) You can also import AVI, QuickTime, WMV, H.264 and MPEG-2 source files to build your DVD or Blu-ray Disc navigation, and then encode the source files as MPEG-2 or H.264 video assets when you’re ready to burn your disc. If your video has different audio sample rates, the built-in sample-rate conversion can automatically convert your source audio to the 48kHz audio used for DVDs. So now you can have many different types of SD and HD footage on one Blu-ray Disc.
To engage viewers effectively with keyword-searchable Web DVDs, Encore CS6 now uses metadata from menu and button names, speech analysis and subtitles to make Web DVDs searchable. Another powerful Encore tool is XMP metadata that can be used to quickly identify assets or automate tasks. You can view and edit XMP metadata from within the Project panel in Encore, or use metadata keywords to search for files in Adobe Bridge.
Adobe Encore CS6 software is a very cool solution for all of your DVD authoring needs because it’s quick and versatile with a powerful toolset. The speedy Encore becomes even faster when used with the rest of the CS6 suite — and with the addition of an NVIDIA Quadro 4000 or Tesla card for CUDA processing, it will get even faster. Do you feel the need for speed?
MSRP: Adobe Encore CS6 (price varies with suite)Contact: www.adobe.com
MSRP: NVIDIA Quadro 4000 (street price about $750) and Tesla (about $2,000)Contact: www.nvidia.com
My review system consisted of a Mac Pro 12-core 2.93GHz with 24GB of www.lifetimememory.com RAM; LSI SAS 9750-8e controller card connected to two Ci Design 8-bay RAID cases loaded with 16 Seagate 450GB SAS drives; Blackmagic Design DeckLink HD Extreme 3D card with output viewed on a TVLogic 17-inch HD monitor; NVIDIA Quadro 4000 card connected to a 24-inch EIZO ColorEdge monitor and 2s2 24-inch monitor mounted on Monitor in Motion stands; G-Technology G-SPEED Q and Thermaltake BlacX Duet 5G for backup and small projects; two Genelec audio monitors; Mackie mixer; Wacom intuos tablet; Apple Color panel and KB Covers for various programs.
David Hurd can be contacted at www.dhpvideo.com